News and Notes

2021 Dalton Eminent Scholar Awards

Five distinguished Radford University faculty members were named 2021 recipients of the university’s most prestigious award. The Dalton Eminent Scholar Award goes to faculty members with distinguished national or international reputations in their fields. The annual awards provide these faculty members the opportunities they deserve to go above and beyond in their respective disciplines.

Each faculty winner receives a $10,000 award to fund research travel and materials and a $5,000 award following the successful completion of research and scholarly activity. The awards are provided by the Radford University Foundation, Inc., and through the Dalton Eminent Scholars Fund.

The recipients of the 2021 Dalton Eminent Scholar Awards are:

  • Karen Powers, Ph.D., professor of biology in the Artis College of Science and Technology.
  • Kristan Morrison, Ph.D., professor and graduate program coordinator of the School of Teacher Education and Leadership in the College of Education and Human Development.
  • Sharon Roger Hepburn, Ph.D., chair and professor of the Department of History in the College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences.
  • Robert Trent, D.M.A., interim chair, graduate program coordinator and professor of the Department of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

The 2021 Dalton Eminent Scholar Rising Star Award recipient is:

  • Richard Gruss, Ph.D., assistant professor of management in the Davis College of Business and Economics.

Stephanie Jennelle begins new role as interim VP

Stephanie Jennelle

In March 2022, Stephanie Jennelle became the interim vice president for Finance and Administration. She joined Radford University in 2010 as the associate controller.

Since 2016, she has served as the associate vice president for Finance and university controller. Jennelle is a certified public accountant and previously worked as the auditor of public accounts. She is a graduate of Virginia Tech and has 18 years of service with the Commonwealth of Virginia.


Graduate school programs acknowledged by U.S. News & World Report

Radford University’s strong academic tradition and commitment to student success continue to garner recognition. U.S. News & World Reports named five Radford University graduate programs in its 2023 Best Graduate Schools rankings. Psychology, social work, part-time MBA, nursing (master’s) and nursing (D.N.P.) made the lists.


Mekolichick uses national position in policymakers’ briefing

Jeanne Mekolichick, Ph.D., associate provost for research, faculty success and strategic initiatives, participated in a policymakers’ briefing in March on Girls in STEM: High-Quality Hands-on Experiences Matter. She was joined by four other educational leaders from across the nation to discuss policy ideas that provide girls with experiential learning opportunities in high school and the overall impact this exposure has on their confidence to pursue STEM fields.

Mekolichick participated in her role as the president of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). More than 700 institutions and 13,000 individuals belong to CUR, an organization dedicated to supporting faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship.


CollegeNET ranks Radford University high in annual Social Mobility Index Ranking

Radford University was recognized as one of the top institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia for advancing the social mobility of its students.

Radford ranked number 173 nationally out of 1,549 four-year institutions reviewed and No. 3 in Virginia in CollegeNET, Inc.’s eighth annual Social Mobility Index (SMI) rankings.

CollegeNET’s SMI reviews four-year colleges and universities according to how effectively they enroll students from low-income backgrounds and graduate them into good-paying jobs.


Fortune magazine names Best Part-Time MBA program in first ranking

One of Radford University’s business degrees has been ranked among the best of its kind by Fortune magazine.

Late last fall, the publication included the Davis College of Business and Economics’ part-time MBA program in its list of the country’s top part-time MBA programs for 2022.

This is the first year Fortune has assembled those rankings, culled through evaluations of 150 schools across the United States. From those, the magazine chose 70 programs to highlight.


Online MBA program ranked among 100 Most Affordable

Online MBA Coach named Radford University’s online MBA program in the Davis College of Business and Economics as one of the 100 Most Affordable Online MBA Programs for 2022.

The program was ranked number 46 overall. Online MBA Coach instructs, trains and encourages students through the process of thriving in an online MBA program.


Radford University BSN programs ranked as best in Virginia by


The Radford University Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs have been ranked as the best BSN programs in the state of Virginia by, an educational resource dedicated to providing information that is accurate, reliable and backed by extensive research for those interested in earning degrees in nursing.
According to, the organization gathered a list of all nursing schools offering BSN programs in every state and then ranked them based on the following three factors:

  • Average NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates of recent five years (40% of overall score).
  • Academic quality – enrollment, graduation and retention rates (30% of overall score).
  • editorial staff ratings and nursing school reputation (30% of overall score).